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The Clothesline: For the Committed. Or Those People Who Should Be Committed…

July 8, 2010

by Ashley Akin

This morning I woke up to a text message from my good friend Battle. It saidMy old-lady neighbor, Ruth, just hung up a pair of her underpants on the clothesline. Gross!” After I made fun of the fact that he lives in a glorified retirement community that reminds me of that depressing movie Grey Gardens, I replied “Well, at least she’s saving energy.” It was then that I realized that I have gone over to the dark side – the literal one, where I actually consider showering in the dark because it would save energy and I forget that geriatric underwear in public is inappropriate.

So whether or not this blog has taken hold of your life, you should know it is clearly leading me down the primrose path to an existence of tree hugging and infrequent bathing. Will someone please slap me before I stop flushing the toilet every time I go in an effort to conserve water? Actually, I would never get that gross, though my oldest brother swears that’s what he’s doing when he forgets to flush. I have no idea how my sister-in-law lives with that. I’d have to take to the vodka at 5 p.m. sharp to deal with that nonsense.

All of this is to say that some of us are more committed to this gig than others, so today I’m going to speak to those of you who really wanna Step Up your game to the next level. (Speaking of Step Up, it is only the best dance flick since Dirty Dancing where boy-from-wrong-side-of-the-tracks meets overprivileged-chick-with-attitude and they are forced to work together to fulfill their dreams. And don’t you even come at me with Save the Last Dance… Julia Stiles should never have been allowed to dance in public or touch Heath Ledger, may he rest.)

OK, so Battle’s “old-lady neighbor,” as he’s calling her, has the right idea: if you want to put a major dent in your energy consumption, all you have to do is forgo the dryer for a clothesline. Air drying your clothes will save you 5-10% on your energy bill, and it will also keep your clothes from wearing out.

Now before you protest, let me assure you: I realize this is extreme. In the spirit of honesty, I’m going to go ahead and tell you there is no way I am implementing this at my house for two reasons: 1) We don’t even have a washer, so I would have to go super-Laura-Ingalls-Wilder and purchase a basin or whatever to even get the clothes clean beforehand, and 2) I live in a townhouse downtown, and our neighbors are a tad less than friendly ever since we had a small, tasteful Jersey Shore party that ended with a smoke machine billowing out of our garage and me standing on a table pretending that the cops were coming… what I’m saying is, they would NOT be into it.

So basically, don’t feel you have to hide your head in shame if you can’t commit to this. Maybe just make a concerted effort to hang your delicate clothes indoors to dry; you’ll save some energy and some wear-and-tear. Or, if you fancy a bit of risqué 1950s action, you can channel The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, put the hood down on your convertible, and air dry those bras the old-fashioned way. Sorry, my roommate made me watch that atrocious movie this week. And I’d just like to say a loud THANK YOU to my mother for not dressing up like a cracked-out kindergartener and setting the lawn ablaze every time she had a problem. You may refuse to take left-hand turns or learn how to use a computer, Mom, but you are Mother of the Year in my book.

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